Our world needs relief. Comic relief. And, comedy, ... good comedy... , does bring relief, doesn't it? Laughter is good medicine. Laughter is good for the soul. "A cheerful heart is good medicine" (Prov. 17: 22).
Today in honor of "red nose day" my friend came to our daily prayer times wearing a very silly shirt. His shirt, and his proudly wearing it for comic relief, brought immediate laughter. My stomach hurt while I laughed. Good clean laughter. Good clean fun. Relief through comedy. What a blessing!
Something just feels right when we laugh together. Something just feels good when I watch my kids "crack up"... their faces twisted and their mouths open, heads back. ...laughing.
My family read this morning in Nehemiah 8. Ezra brings the Word of God to the people. They all listen intently. The worshiped and lifted their hands in praise as they heard. Then they all bowed down and received God's Word with reverence. And, then they all repent and weep. What a sweet response to the Lord! Worship. Humility. Surrender. Repentance. Weeping. Doesn't it just seem a fitting and right response! And, I believe God was honored that 5th century day.
And, then,... a possible surprise of anyone who reads this passage... "Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” He tells them to go and have a party. Go, he says, and celebrate! Go and enjoy! Isn't he telling them to go, eat and be merry! Laugh.
We spent our morning prayer time asking God to bless us and others with joy and laughter. We asked God to open our hearts and minds to an eternal perspective that allows us to "laugh at the days to come" (Prov. 31:25) We asked that this joy, this laughter, would be our strength and our dignity.
When my eyes are open and I am looking, watching, for God's comic relief, I don't have to go far to see it.
*That look my puppy gives when she is curious, head cocked to one side...
*that laughter that erupts at the dinner table from my 8 year old son when "a sound" comes from our bodies ... (he can't help himself but laugh!)
*that silly dance that my husband did while getting the chicken out of the refrigerator last night.
*the chase that happens in my tree outside, one bird chasing another. Diving, bobbing, calling out. It is funny to watch. It is funny IF I am watching and looking for it, I should say.
...light-hearted laughter. Comic relief.
Lord teach me to see more of You! All of You! May I worship you with all my self. ...my hands held high and my face bowed down. With weeping and laughter, may You receive all my praise and worship today!